Monday, December 17, 2007

sights for sore ears

arrgh - work is being done on our house today (hello symphony of drills and saws + unannounced water shut off) and it is driving me nuts. (i am working at home today. of course.) so, i am not feeling very patient/able with uploading images or anything at all techincal today. i also really need to do my postings on the computer with photoshop but sigh that is just not going to happen right now. however, here's some very cool stuff to look at:

*Sara Burgess's (of Central Office of Design) Miniature Cut-Out Books
I saw one of these (the Book of Bugs) on display at the San Francisco Center for the Book this year - they are truly stunning works of art. Be sure to scroll down to the Apple Tree illustrated book. i was reminded of this b/c i went to the Holiday Fair at the SFCB yesterday and saw so much great printwork (Dutch Door Press, Lizard Press, Paperflirt, Aviary Press, Boxer Press and Green Chair Press - just to name a few).

*the relaunch of the magazine Culture & Travel featuring an article called "A Spice Odyssey" with gorgeous (gorgeous!) photos shot by my cousin Kathryn Parker Almanas. she is my cousin, it's true, but i am not just being nice. the lady is super talented. check out the Winter 2007 issue next time you are in a bookstore (her spread starts on page 100).

*and finally, a string of baby onesies we created at the baby shower i gave a few weeks ago. setting a bunch of semi-strangers loose on blank white baby outfits (for a very loved by all parties little baby) with stencils and fabric paint is such a great way for everyone to meet/interact. i loved seeing the different directions everyone took. here's a sampling:

Friday, December 14, 2007

type & tauba auerbach

type and typography fascinate me. together with color, look how tauba auerbach uses it to illustrate a quicksilver flipflop of opinion:

i am really looking forward to exploring type and its power in my letterpress work... speaking of which: printing solo for the first time on the letterpress last night was a thrill. i am so grateful to my kind and helpful fellow printers - betsy and kathleen - and our indefatiguably patient supervisor sabrina.... i had a ton of questions and learned so many tricks to to making more perfect prints.

there's a slippery slope in the possibility for perfection in letterpress and, for my own sanity, i am working hard to concentrate on the potential beauty in (my many printed) imperfections. you can measure so much and expect such exact results that easily, quickly the art and fun of it (for me at least for now) can slide away.

Image courtesy of Tauba Auerbach

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


finally here's a picture of the baby shower invite i made a few weeks ago for a great friend:

this is by far a better image. phew! that took some work and some lollygagging around on my part. i feel like i've had my head in the sand blog-wise the last few weeks but i've covered some serious ground - sf to nyc and back again and then sf to la and back. all in two weeks. that's far for moi! looking forward to being around for a tiny (literally) bit... (excuse the clunky eraser marks; in the interest of speed, i went with the low budge eraser fix rather than photoshop.)

also, i was really into the flowers behind the card. typically, i've got grand plans for flowers....i can see it all in my head, you know, but then reality and my ineptitude/rushing lets me down. this time, however, i was psyched with the result. here's another pic:

and, in other exciting news, i am on (letter)press this week for another project this. i cut my paper and made plates yesterday and thurs is it. wish me luck.

i think it's ok to brag about my husband on my blog this one time

i am not biased or anything, but i think my husband is a super gifted designer and craftsman. behold the result of his thanksgiving weekend woodshop heroics:

i have all these great ceramics etc from travels that i'd like to display and we have a whole heck of a lot of books to store. the square shelf bookshelf from ikea -that everyone has - was looking like a good option but b persuaded me otherwise and now we have these beauties. at the moment, they have primer + one coat of paint (progress from what's shown) and i am jazzed about putting them to use soon. i've got this feeling they are going to be the warhorses of our bookshelf collection.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

ac to the rescue

do you need to buy a gift for a guy? and more specifically, a guy who (however genuinely interested in good design) would not be psyched about a (however so well-intentioned) design-y type gift? perhaps someone who spends a wholesome chunk of his weekend in a certain ahem big blue store whose initials are bb?

if so, look no further than ac's (grace's other half) gift guide for guys on none other than design*sponge today. it is hilarious!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

oh and one more thing

how's this for inspiration? thirty thousand years of art - the cave paintings right up to art from right now. my intro art history class all in one gorgeous album with just pictures, no (ok, maybe few) words. it is going on my christmas list right now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

holiday indie shopping - let's get to it

the holidays are upon up with a vengeance. luckily that means lots of indie art and craft fairs, including several super letterpress sales.

up first: the Calendar Show & Sale on November 30th from 6-9
at my haunt the SF Book Center (16th and DeHaro), where my letterpress teacher Megan Adie will have her brand new letterpress calendars for sale. i heard about the amazing number of printruns and colors she used to create these; i can't wait to check them out. speaking of letterpress, i am psyched - i finished my letterpress certification over the weekend and am looking forward to printing my own work now!

next: Carrot & Stick Studio Sale on December 8th from 10-4
at 6050 Lowell Street, Studio 102, in Oakland

the ladies at C&S create such clean, strong graphics and are super to work with. they did a save the date for me and it came out beautifully.

Image courtesy of Carrot & Stick

i am bummed b/c i will actually miss those first two sales b/c of upcoming trips. i am not bummed about the trips but b/c i can't be in 2 places at once - the trips and the fairs. you get it. onward...

Holiday Fair at SFCB on December 16 from 12-5 which I will be able to attend. More calendars and letterpress goods a la the Calendar Sale this Friday.

And last but not least certainly (I should say most) the Bizarre Bazarre on December 15. Nancy of Belle Epoque will be do a craft demonstration and Ali of designalicious will be selling her gorgeous gems and jewelry. if you are looking for a surprise gift for someone, i totally recomennd Ali's jewelry. she sells online here too.

Looks like a great letterpress line up too at the BB: Dutch Door Press, Lizard Press, Green Chair Press and so, so many more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

just fun stuff to look at

yikes - i didn't mean to be away for so long. but between a minor car accident (i am fine), a neighbor's burglarly and the general business of life, i haven't had a chance to blog. but i've been collecting images and ideas as always...

first of all, i saw this fun gift idea in a magazine:

i believe those are stina persson's watercolors decorating a space.nk travel set. i luuuuv stina persson - what a great way to take her with you. and if you want her with you at home, you can buy her prints here.

last week, my co-worker, the artist and designer david rose, was invited to showcase a dress made of recycled paper at the AIGA SF 2007 Gala. his dress is the one on the left in the picture at right... he made it entirely out of the leftover pieces of paper from one of his design projects. you can also check out his glass work (great for gifts) at these upcoming shows. he designs super wrapping paper too so be sure to snap some of that up too.

finally, here's a picture of a garage door in my hood with which i am obsessed. i love the shiny black scrolliness of it all. so striking in a neighborhood of beautiful but largely white/pastel houses.

Friday, November 09, 2007

wishing this worked for me

i just like this planner by Shinzi Katoh so much. the images are stems and branches, but i think they also look like alternative christmas trees. now if only i could actually get myself to use a beautiful planner with any regularity...

it is available at three potato four right here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

typography for kids and kids-at-heart

robin rosenthal designs modern, simple & fun art for kids - which i came across on designsponge...

and this one is great too: but i suspect it is more soothing for the tired parent eyes than 3 year old attention spans:

i have no kids and i'd totally hang that last one up in my living room in a heartbeat.

check out some of her really colorful and graphic illustrations too. i know so many expectant moms that i just could not not share robin's bennett and the garden series:

Images courtesy of Robin Rosenthal

so fun!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

visual organization

i realize i need to fix up that image of my invite. i'll try to take a good quality pic tonight - it is hard to do this when i am never home in the daylight but i will persevere...

in the meantime, via black eiffel, i found the visual dictionary site.

some sample visuals:

italian price list text:

this makes me think of my husband:

images courtesy of Visual Dictionary

just the place to go for inspiration. go on, goggle all the different typefaces and then contribute. i'm already picturing what i want to upload - there is just so much visually interesting and entertaining type all around us everyday - why not share?

Monday, November 05, 2007

creative project unmasked

i have a letterpress project in the works - exciting! - but for the moment, i wanted to show you the 'creative project' i've been working on:

it is for a friend's baby shower. we went through the creative process (which i usually do from the non-designer side) and it felt great to produce a result that incorporated everyone's feedback - and that everyone liked. no small task.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

fine little day

check out this delicate beauty of a poster:

Image courtesy of fine little day

for sale by fine little day. she'll have more up in her etsy shop shortly!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

sunny sunday in sf

i just love SF on days like this. without having to leave my neighborhood, i got to enjoy - in the sun - an indie design fair, toffee coffee ice cream from BiRite in the park, lunch with nancy at the liberties and a visit with Jessica of josephine and debudda!

we visited ali of designalicious at the mission indie mart - she has gorgeous necklaces and some cool vintage earrings for sale... great christmas presents:

Images courtesy of Designalicious

at the mart, i was also taken with the laser-cut jewelry at molly m designs. such pretty cuts and patterns and shapes - i especially liked the circular acrylic pendants - they were so light - and would pick up light rays super well and send them bouncing all over ;)

Image courtesy of Molly M Designs

i also popped into Josephine & Debudda and met both Josephine (shop mascot and friendly french bulldog) and Jessica, the shop's super nice owner. she finds such great vintage jewelry! and displays it so artfully - everything looks like a million bucks, but is in fact totally reasonable.

Image courtesy of Josephine & Debudda

you must go here to ogle the sparkling and gleamy jewelry or pick up a super soft Hayden Harnett pouch for pencils or makeup or a purse (what i use mine for.)

my creative project keeps on trucking - i have a meeting with the new mom to discuss the invite in an hour... and hope to get it all printed tomorrow. wow. can't wait.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

meet up

last night nancy and i attended the design*sponge biz lady event in sf and it was quite fun and inspiring to be surrounded by so many like minded ladies. we had a great time talking to ali of designalicious - who will be showing and selling more of her beautiful jewelry this sunday at the Mission Indie Mart.

check it out!

also, in belleepoque news, nancy will be featured as the designer of a super cute (i had a sneak peak) Halloween costume on live TV this weekend! watch the Saturday morning news show on CBS...

Monday, October 22, 2007

they are everywhere

when we were in london everywhere we looked we saw elephants!

stencil/poster art in the east end:

a herd in hyde park:

plus, bonus! a monkey!

london is such a feast of visual design - everywhere a fantastic color or funny ad to stare at. or a line of shops - all agreeing to paint their fronts in co-ordinated but technicolor saturated color:

and this i just loved:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

art explosion

the city was definitely exploding with art this weekend! open studios galore - every where you look - almost as many as open house real estate signs.

my friend meghan took me to the Art Explosion Open Studios at 17th and Potrero. i loved checking out the art - but maybe even more that that loved seeing that there continues to be space for artists in the city.

and last night we had a super fun night at le zinc and then at the bishop allen concert at the independent - love those boys!

on my own creative front, i am working out a baby shower invite. i love my idea just need my illustrator skills to catch up with it ;) onward...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

of course you do

i really admire Marian Bantjes' work... and i think her recent project for Saks is mesmerizing. i guess this is just what happens retail-wise beginning this time of the year;)

how could you not want a puffy vest when displayed and arrayed just so?

Images courtesy of Marian Bantjes

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

peanut and the moon jar

i just had to post this:

such a darling elephant toy! made by nancy of belle epoque based on a pattern from hillary lang. i saw 'peanut' in person yesterday and he? she? is the perfect, cuddley stuffed toy. hurray for elephants! and new babies of course ;)

on a totally different note: do you know about korean moon jars? i saw a tiny, jewelbox of an exhibit on them at the british museum in london and was really struck by their beauty:

these are very large and very rare white porcelain jars made in Korea in the 17th/18th centuries. to make them large enough, craftsmen created the tops and bottoms of the jars separately and then joined the parts together, which created bulges around the jars' girths. i love the simpleness and milky white color - the jar i saw just seemed to glow...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

new designalicious!

ali of designalicious emailed to tell me about her new jewelry and it is, not suprisingly, gorgeous:

earthy and gorgeous and mysterious!

ali also has a new blog with more photos of new work - and she'll be showing it at the capsule design festival this sunday in sf. i love, love, love the capsule fair - such great designers and artists all in one festive gathering. i don't think i'll make it but will definitely be at ali's next showings at the Mission Indie Mart on 10/28 and the Holiday Bazarre Bizarre on 12/15.

i've been compiling some london and sardinia finds... and will step up my posting again (now that i am 1. in the us and 2. not sick!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

chihuly glass chandelier

here's a peek at the huge blown glass chandelier by dale chihuly that hangs in the front hall of the victoria & albert museum in london:

the modern and fantastical glass was so striking against the classical/victorian architecture...

Monday, October 01, 2007


i am glad to be home after a fantastic trip! i need to recover a bit from jetlag and a nasty cold, but i wanted to show this gorgeous chair at liberty:

sorry about the blur due to no flash etc... i have tons more pictures and finds from london that i will pick through soon and show the best of. but first, check out this beach - probably the best i've ever been to - on sardinia:


Thursday, September 13, 2007

london calling

Image courtesy of Temperley

i am headed to london and sardinia in a few days...and am inspired to check out maje at fenwicks thanks to joanna... and will hopefully get to ogle the dresses at temperley. i cannot get enough of the drapey, flowy glorious temperley look.

then i will just aim to relax in the italian sun and do very little.

if anyone reading this has any shop/designers tips for me to check out while i am in london, let me know!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Image courtesy of J. Crew

elephants galore! i am totally taken with this charm necklace - and with elephants in general. a symbol of wisdom, elephants are pretty popular in my family. a bunch of us collect them; i like the idea of wearing them!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

steamroller prints

if you are around sf this saturday, check out the sfcb's 4th Annual Roadworks: Steamroller Prints and Street Fair.

this is your chance to see a-2 ton steamroller ink and press large linocut prints. there will also be booths with letterpress and bookarts vendors selling their work. i definitely am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

on bloesem

i was totally thrilled to see that my blog was featured on bloesem as part of irene's latest round of "recently discovered blogs". look at the left hand side bar.

this is so exciting! if anyone reading this hasn't not checked out bloesem, you must do so immediately! irene features superb design finds; you will see something you love i promise.

Friday, August 31, 2007

sesame letterpress

i just came across these letterpress table cards at sesame letterpress:

Image courtesy of Sesame Letterpress

these give you both the utility of table numbers and a splash of color. (so many of the table number sets out there are just so boring.)

then i poked around the sesame letterpress page. lovely baby announcements and custom note cards and yes wedding invites all handmade by a couple with a baby in brooklyn.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

sophie leblanc

via labour of heart, i learned about sophie leblanc, a french illustrator. i just love her work. it is so whimisical and colorful - with a bit of an edge...

Image courtesy of Sophie Leblanc

i am also obsessing about this for storing letterpress type and print...

the book stool

now this is something that several people i know in need of both more seating and more organization (myself included) could use...

although this would minimize the fun/inspirational/general craziness vibe of the look of magazines strewn everywhere!

check it out here and here....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

me and the machine

now that my press has been pieced back together by my handy husband, i am pulling together a list of all the bells and whistles it needs to start humming. i spent a bit of today staring at this and at my press:

Image courtesy of Don Black Linecasting

i am learning a lot - for example, after some headscratching and deductive reasoning i figured out what a letterpress - not vehicular - truck is. can you tell i need my upcoming letterpress class to come quickly?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


so a couple of weeks ago, i went home to nyc and i wanted to share some of my favorite finds/stores/experiences.

*most friendly sales people
bird - sweet sales lady helped extract my embarrassed and stuck, somewhat sweaty self from a pretty but too spendy top, then she let me use the restroom.

*most helpful sales people
the awesome store manager at calypso home in soho who did a major web search just to find a paris store location for me. i wanted to know if the fantastic line maison de vacances had an actual store in france. i bought this mdv beauty for my living room:

*sweetest bargains
sleek white belle flats half off and also at bird, but this time the bird in boerum hill

*best belly laugh
'vintage' smurfs at ugly luggage! i love how my childhood toys are dating me ;) this store is hilarious. you've got to go! many thanks to grace at design*sponge for the suggestion.

*favorite finds: seeing the wallpaper animals in person at romp, the huge gursky photograph poster in the moma store, the mini muji shop in the bottom of the soho moma design store, the funky, conceptual pieces at A&G Merch and The Future Perfect (also favorites of design*sponge). i got this blue lacquer tray and pink plastic vase (that only stands up when you have a very specific amount of water in it) at those stores respectively:

*favorite experiences: checking out the work of julie chang, an artist who comments on consumerism and the commodification of our culture and then heading out to williamsburg to idolize many of those same objects and purchase a few - relishing the irony of this all the way, finding an hour to spare in hudson nyc and seeing the michelin man in the window of an antiques store:

and exploring many galleries in chelsea with my cousin katie...

and enjoying just picked vegetables in ct: